Salon’s Hate for Israel Shines Through in New Article
Ben Norton at Salon wrote an incredibly one-sided, anti-Israel piece about the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine.
The headline already tells you where this is going:
I found one of Norton’s links to be emblematic of his dishonesty.
He wrote that Zionism is “a settler colonialist Jewish nationalist political movement,” and he links to a book about Theodor Herzl for the words “settler colonialist.”
That book shows that Herzl wrote (but never sent) a letter to Cecil Rhodes, British imperialist whom Rhodesia was named after, almost begging for help in getting his support for a Jewish state in Palestine. Herzl is practically mimicking Rhodes’ words to get him to sign on. At one point Herzl writes :
You are being invited to help make history….It is not in your accustomed line, it does not involve Africa, but a piece of Asia Minor; not Englishmen, but Jews….How, then, do I happen to turn to you, since this is an out-of-the-way matter for you? How indeed? Because it is something colonial…
Herzl is using the language of imperialism to gain the support of an imperialist. This does not prove that Zionism is imperialist.
And the proof is at the end of the quoted passage:
What is the plan? To settle Palestine with the homecoming Jewish people.
If the Jews are returning home, this is not colonialism — this is a national liberation movement. Colonialism requires a metropole, or a mother country — the Jewish state does not, because its center of existence is in Israel itself.
So Norton’s own source proves him wrong.
This is hardly the most dishonest part. But they all add up:
Why were the Arabs angry? Because, for the indigenous Palestinians, the deal was a thoroughly bad one. Palestinians comprised approximately two-thirds of the population, yet were offered just 43 percent of their land in the deal.
He doesn’t mention that most of the land allocated for Jews was desert.
The Partition Plan was never implemented, however. The very next day after it was voted on, the 1947-1948 war broke out.
And who started that war, only hours after the partition vote? Funny how Norton doesn’t want to mention that, but rather implies that Jews started the war — which he then characterizes as “In this war, Zionist militias systematically ethnically cleansed large portions of historic Palestine.” Besides lying about what “historic Palestine” is, he is lying about the “ethnic cleansing.” Most Arabs fled, especially the first wave before Plan Dalet, which he mischaracterizes again as a plan of ethnic cleansing.
He ends up with an interestingly twisted view of history, saying on one hand that Israel fulfilled its colonialist desires by taking over all of Palestine in 1967, but then saying that today Israel is increasing its control over the West Bank and Gaza. But I thought they stole full control of those lands in 1967?! What possibly could have happened in between where Israel had to re-take all that land that it mysteriously lost control of? And if the Israeli military/colonialist/terrorist machine wants all that land, then what is stopping it?
That omission is all you need to know about his dishonest views. Israel’s giving away land it controlled in Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank in hopes of peace is not mentioned — because those facts are too inconvenient for the article’s thesis of the evil, land-stealing Zionist Jew.
Salon of course is hardly a bastion of objectivity regarding Israel — in 2012 they struck a deal with the antisemitic Mondoweiss site to provide content.